Keep Berlin Poor!

And sexy, of course.

It all used to be so easy. But now property prices are rising like mad. This is not sexy, I am told. Unless, of course, you own property here, which practically nobody does. And that brings us back to poor…

Poor

About 85% of Berlin’s 3.4 million residents live in rentals and homeownership remains remarkably low — a condition fostered by the city’s turbulent history, Cold War division and five decades of communist rule in East Berlin. Almost by nature, Berliners tend to have a low regard for property owners…

Though still modest compared with other cities in Europe, rents in Berlin have risen 75% in the last five years. A recent survey by the property consultant group Knight Frank showed that property prices in Berlin rose 21% in 2017, the steepest rate in its survey of 150 cities around the world and far above the average increase of 4.5%. The biggest increases that year in the United States were Seattle, where rent rose 12.7%, and San Francisco, where they were up 9.3%.

“Once you move into an apartment in Germany, you are basically in the lease for life unless you cancel it yourself.”